'Cash for promotion' scam hits army June 19, 2012
An inquiry has been initiated against a Brigadier for accepting money in return for recommending promotions
Army orders probe against Brig LI Singh for 'demanding cash' from subordinate officers
Court of Inquiry ordered post discreet inquiry
Source: The Sangai Express / Courtesy: Headlines Today (Gaurav C Sawant)
New Delhi, June 21 2012: A high profile Brigadier, recently posted as the Deputy Director General, Discipline and Vigilance (DDG, DV) at the Army Headquarters, has come under scanner for the alleged abuse of power and demanding money from subordinate officers and contractors in a cash scandal.
Brigadier Laiphrakpam Ibotombi Singh of 13th Battalion Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI), who was till March 2012 commanding the Watershed Brigade in Sikkim, has been accused of compelling officers under his command to "loan him money for urgent family requirement" and then not returning it.
The general officer commanding (GOC) of the Striking Lion Division conducted a discreet inquiry before the official Court of Inquiry (CoI) was ordered on June 15, army sources told Headlines Today on Tuesday.
"A rather grim picture emerges from the pattern of complaints.
There are serious allegations that need to be probed.
The discreet inquiry findings will be a part of the material for the court of inquiry to proceed," a senior officer in the Eastern Command told Headlines Today.
The timing of the "loan" allegedly coincided with the time of writing of annual confidential reports (ACRs) of the subordinate officers has brought the brigadier under suspicion.
Both the Eastern Command and Army Headquarters refused to share details of the discreet inquiry.
Only officers with unimpeachable integrity and spoken reputation are posted to the DV directorate, which is responsible for keeping a hawk eye on army's internal health and integrity.
"Brig L.I.Singh was handpicked by the former chief of army staff General V.K.Singh in April this year and brought to the DV directorate.
He was probing the botched-up Jorhat intelligence operation.
Now he himself is under the scanner for alleged extortion," an officer said.
As a DDG in the DV directorate, Brig Singh had asked the Eastern Command and the Dimapur based 3 Corps to explain inaction of officers in taking disciplinary action against those involved in the botched Jorhat intelligence operation where a team of 3 Corps Intelligence and Surveillance Unit was found to have broken into the house of an MES contractor and stolen a pistol, mobile phone and cash.
"He himself is now being summoned for a court of inquiry to explain complaints filed by serving officers directly under his command of illegally demanding money.
This is a conduct unbecoming of an officer," sources said.
An army spokesperson confirmed that an investigation had indeed been ordered.
"A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to probe the allegations.
As soon as the inquiry is completed we shall reveal the facts," the spokesperson said.
Army sources said borrowing and lending money is strictly prohibited in the army according to defence services regulation.
In the past, a two-star general was court martialled and punished for a similar offence.
"Brig Singh is an alumnus of Sainik School, Imphal, Manipur.
He is a bright and hard working officer.
He excelled in Staff College and Higher Command Course.
He commanded his battalion in Drass and was awarded a Yudh Sewa Medal for exemplary leadership after Operation Parakram.
He had a bright future and these complaints need to be probed speedily and in a transparent manner," a senior JAKLI officer told Headlines Today.
Brig Singh has proceeded on leave and the inquiry would begin as soon as he rejoins.